Keyword Stuffing and Its Impact on Search Engine Rankings

Google indeed uses keywords to fetch relevant results, and as such search terms suitable to your industry will help your rankings. But some people overdo it, and they forget that too much of anything is not good. The purpose of keywords is to match customers and solution providers, but going beyond its purpose works havoc on a business.

In this article, you will learn the history of keyword stuffing. You will also find how excessive keywords will harm your business. 

History of Keyword Stuffing

Yahoo was the leading search engine in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In those days, these search engines would rank websites based on the keywords they used. So, people would fill their content and meta descriptions with keywords so that their site would rank higher. They did not care much about readability and user experience – all they wanted to see was their site dominating the SERP. To enhance user experience, get the services of an SEO agency.

These Were the Most Common Types of Keyword Stuffing:

  • Repeating a particular word throughout the content
  • Using keywords irrelevant to the brand specialization
  • Adding whole paragraphs stuffed with keywords and hiding from readers.
  • Using too many keywords in meta descriptions and comment tags.

Google came up with the Panda Update in 2011 to check keyword stuffing and thin content. With the Hummingbird algorithm in 2013, Google emphasized search intent over exact match keywords, and sites engaging in keyword stuffing would get penalized. 

Google announced the Bert algorithm in 2019, and from this time onwards, the tech giant prioritizes contextual quality content. As Google changes the rules every year, the need to hire an SEO agency to manage campaigns is more prominent than ever.

Having seen the emphasis on search intent, we should explore the effects of keyword stuffing on rankings.

Keyword Stuffing Spikes Up Bounce Rates

The goal of content is to persuade the readers to engage with your brand. Readers coming to your site will naturally have more resistance towards your brand. It is your responsibility to convince them to buy your products. But you cannot persuade them if you are forceful or aggressive in your marketing. Hire agencies providing content marketing services for creating content that resonates with your audience. 

People practice keyword stuffing for more outreach. But they forget that their ultimate goal is not rankings but sales. And if it is sales, they can only convince their audience by soft persuasion. To craft a compelling copy, get the content marketing services of an agency.

Sprinkling keywords everywhere will affect readability, forcing people to quit reading. If the content is too difficult to read, the visitors will leave for competitors. They came to a site looking for some crucial information, and if they cannot get them, they will stop engaging with your brand. It will increase your bounce rate and hurt your rankings.

The content becomes boring and repetitive

If you write for keywords, your articles will sound repetitive and boring. Stuffing articles with keywords make it sound mechanical and monotonous. Nobody likes the same stuff, as we all need variety. So, if the writing is not captivating to the readers, it is not possible to convert them. Repeating keywords will significantly affect the user experience and affect rankings.

Damages your Brand Reputation

Customers get a lot of spam mails, and so they can tell if the content is spammy or not without much effort. Excessive keywords in the content will work against its intended goal. Even if the article is exceptional and inspiring, keyword stuffing will make a brand lose credibility. 

Prevents Brand from Establishing Expertise

One of the essential aspects of business growth is brand development. So, businesses working on building their brand cannot witness any growth if they practice outdated tactics like keyword stuffing. Content marketing agency helps a brand show expertise and establish your brand as a thought leader. But overusing keywords limits a business from seeing growth. And the worst part is they will incur a penalty. 

GMB Penalties

Google penalizes businesses that violate Google’s guidelines which include keyword stuffing. Google’s penalties for keyword stuffing are of two types:

  • Soft Suspension: The owner will see that his account is “suspended” in this type of suspension. He cannot manage his listings, as he broke Google’s rules. The listing will become unverified, but the rankings won’t get affected.
  • Hard Suspension: Here, Google will remove the listing from Google maps, and the reviews in the listing will disappear. 
Google Penalty for Websites

If Google chooses to penalize a site, there will be a dip in organic traffic. Google will not show the penalized website or only show partially to searchers. Finally, the website will no longer be considered an authority site. 

Content is all About the People

Businesses should divert their attention away from keywords and create content that matches user intent. The quality of the content should always take a preference over quantity. It is crucial to write for people with real needs and wants. They are human and have feelings, so the only way to rank higher is to connect with the audience in meaningful ways. Writing longer content will also reduce the risk of keyword stuffing. 

Using synonyms is also a better option than exact search terms. It is because Google algorithms search for context and relevance. A content could rank for other keywords, so one should focus on writing to please and inform.

Heron Nelson

Heron is a business blogger with a focus on personal finance and wealth management. With over 7 years of experience writing about financial topics, Heron has established herself as a trusted voice in the personal finance space. She has a deep understanding of financial concepts and strategies, and is able to explain them in a relatable and actionable way for her readers.